Alberta officials optimistic now on fire

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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Chad Morrison of Alberta Wildfire says the wildfire has reached a turning point with the recent cooler temperatures and he's very happy.

Morrison says the cooler temperatures make for great firefighting weather and firefighters can now really get a handle on it and put the fire in a "death grip."

He also says the fire has not reached the Suncor or Syncrude oil sands facilities north of five-ravaged Fort McMurray.

12:40 p.m.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the wildfire grew much more slowly than was feared and it is now 161,000 hectares (397,831 acres).

Notley said Sunday the blaze is quite a bit smaller than was feared on Saturday, when officials expected the fire to double in size. She says the fire is still west of the Saskatchewan border.

Chad Morrison of Alberta Wildfire says that a break in the hot weather allowed them to further protect fire-ravaged Fort McMurray. He also says they prevented the fire from reaching the Suncor oil sands site.

He said with cooler temperatures in the next three or four days, firefighters should be able to put out hot spots.